Call for Focused Symposia

The submission for Focused Symposia is closed. Notification will be sent to authors in July 2023.


Conference Theme

The main theme for the 50th anniversary conference of IFOMPT is "Crossing bridges" - Crossing bridges between research, clinical practice, education, patients’ perspectives and the needs of society. The many challenges and changes that musculoskeletal and manual physical therapy are facing, require critical reflection on the future from different perspectives. New practices and ways of thinking are emerging, and may provide reflection on our identity, new roles, refined ways to practice, and new models of care. The 2024 IFOMPT conference will be a key event to discuss, advocate and celebrate the diversity of muskuloskeletal and manual physical therapy.

The call for Focused Symposia is open to all aspects of MSK and manual physical therapy, and diversity in topics is highly encouraged. Proposals for Focused Symposia should be submitted under one of the three conference strands that are described below:

1. Innovative models of care in musculoskeletal and manual physical therapy

This strand will cover new developments and ideas about crossing bridges between science, practice and patients’ experiences. This will include aspects relating to:

  • Effective strategies to implement new knowledge into practice
  • New models of care and innovative frameworks
  • Different stakeholder’s perspectives to improve quality of musculoskeletal and manual physical therapy
  • Proposing models of advanced practice and direct access

Format for Focused Symposia

The Focused Symposia will be a key component of the conference with the aim of creating an insightful learning experience in relation to MSK physiotherapy. They should promote critical reflection and respectful debate, acknowledging different opinions and perspectives on musculoskeletal and manual  physical therapy. We will host a range of different types of Focused Symposia based on the topics:

A. Traditional Focused Symposia

A topical Focused Symposium, chaired by a recognised expert in the field with three to four speakers including the chair. This will ideally include:

  • A short introduction by the chair;
  • Three to four presentations (including by the chair);
  • An interactive discussion/conclusion led by one of the presenters at the end to discuss the main implications;
  • Time for questions at the end; and
  • An audience engagement activity – i.e., interactive Q&A, panel session, discussion groups, etc.

B. Active Focused Symposia

A Active Focused Symposium should propose an innovative format that involves active audience participation (e.g., participant group discussions or case studies). A detailed description of the activities that are proposed to be included during the session and how these will be managed should form part of the submission.

C. Debate Style Focused Symposia

A Debate Style Focused Symposium aim to facilitate discussion and debate on a topic where there may be differing and opposing views. The debate can be a specific pro-contra format or be more open to different perspectives and a detailed description on how the debate will be managed should form part of the submission.

General Recommendations:

  • Each Focused Symposium will last 90 minutes.
  • Focused Symposium presenters should include:
    • Three to four speakers, including a chair;
    • A combination of presenters from different countries and regions of the world; Note that all the presenters should not be from a single country.
    • A combination of experienced and early-career researchers, clinicians and/or educators. Note that all presenters should demonstrate recognised expertise in the field and the ability to present to a large audience.
    • A balanced combination of presenters from a diversity perspective. This includes diversity relating to gender, socio economic status, multidisciplinary focus, different perspectives, etc.
      It is strongly encouraged to include patient perspectives and voices in the presenting groups, where applicable.
  • Presentations put forward should be suited to cater for the diverse combination of conference participants, i.e., clinicians, researchers, educators, etc.
  • All presentations that involve human participants and animal subjects must comply with ethical principles and legislative approval and permissions must be in place.

Important Dates:

Conference dates: Thursday 4th – Saturday 6th July 2024
Focused Symposium submission opens: 1st December 2022
Focused Symposium submission deadline: 17th March 2023 
Focused Symposium final closure

20th March 2023 23:59 CET (after this date no further submissions will be accepted)
Notification of outcome: July 2023
Please note, if successful you will be required to confirm your commitment to delivering the focused symposium within two weeks (14 days) of notification.


The chair should submit the Focused Symposium for consideration. All presenters included in the group should have agreed to participate to the Focused Symposium before submission.

Each submission must be made electronically via the IFOMPT 2024 website. The documents can be compiled in Word and copied and pasted into the fields on the website. Note that the online submission form will provide restricted space for data entry. To assist you in preparing your submission, an indication of the available word count is provided.

Submissions must be submitted in English and will need to include the following:

  1. Title of suggested symposium [10 words]
  2. Session type: Traditional or Active or Debate Focused Symposia
  3. Summary of the session format that will be followed or learning activities that will be proposed [250 words]
  4. Relevance of the proposed Focused Symposia to IFOMPT and the expected audience [100 words]
  5. Key words [maximum 5]
  6. Details of all contributors including:
    1. List of chair and all presenters
    2. Full name, organisation/institution, city and country as you would wish it to appear in the completed programme for all presenters
    3. E-mail, work telephone, mailing address for all presenters
    4. A short biography for the chair and each presenter. This should outline academic qualifications, positions/appointments, publication and presentation track record, research information (interests, grants), and professional practice background [Total 250 words each]
  7. Completed abstract body (see below)
  8. Information concerning any presentations or publications of the work made prior to the IFOMPT 2024 [50 words]
  9. Ethical approval for all studies that will be presented
  10. Funding acknowledgments

Abstract body /content

A single abstract jointly authored by the chair and all other presenters needs to be submitted per Focused Symposium. The abstract should consist of a maximum of 750 words, and should provide a comprehensive overview of the Symposium and linked presentations. This will be included in the Conference proceedings and should be structured using the following headings:

Learning objectives (up to 3)

  • Description (this must be evidence based)
  • Implications/conclusions
  • References (not included in word count)

Submission process

All submissions must be submitted electronically.

General information:

  1. Please note that presenting a focused Symposium Submission does not affect any other abstract submissions.
  2. Focused Symposium chairs and all presenters must be available to present on any of the three days of the Conference and presentation slots will be decided by the conference planning team.
  3. Publication following the IFOMPT Conference: 50th anniversary special edition will be published by Musculoskeletal Science and Practice postconference.



The evaluation of the submissions will be made by an expert group appointed by the Conference Scientific Committee.
Each paper will be evaluated several times and by different experts.
The committee will consider all the submissions in relation to topic and format and may recommend some modifications to individual submissions to fit into the overall program.


With your submission you agree that the Focused Symposium could be recorded and could be published on a virtual platform.

Submitted abstracts will be used for publication.

Participation at the Conference

All participants must register and attend the Conference in person. 


A formal consent process will take place after the submission has been accepted.